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Non-Point Source Pollution

Non-point source pollution can come from many sources. It takes cooperation and education with many groups to keep our waters clean. Image source: Nez Perce Tribe Resources Division

“What is Non-Point Source Pollution?” NPS pollution occurs when runoff from rain or snow melt flows overland to enter rivers and lakes. The runoff picks up anything and everything found on the land, which can include pollutants of many forms (e.g., excess nutrients from fertilizers, oil from cars, or salt from roads). These pollutants are then carried into water bodies, and their concentrations rise as each stream flows into the next. Ultimately, the pollutants end up at the mouth of a stream or lake. NPS pollutants come from a variety of sources all over the watershed and it’s impossible to “point” at where they are originating.

Unlike its counterpart, Point Source pollution, which is relatively easy to control and mitigate as it comes from one obvious source, NPS pollution is very difficult to control and even more difficult to control because it requires much more planning and volunteer efforts to make a difference.

Learn more about how you can help control NPS pollution in your watershed:


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